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Shadows of Pecan Hollow: A Novel by Caroline Frost

Set in 1970-'90s Texas, a mesmerizing story about a fierce woman and the partner in crime she can’t escape, perfect for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing and Valentine.
Review
4.6/5

Must read!

THE RUNDOWN: SYNOPSIS & MEDIA REVIEWS

Winner of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, finalist for the Golden Poppy Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel.

It was 1970 when 13-year-old runaway Kit Walker was abducted by Manny Romero, a smooth-talking, low-level criminal, who first coddled her and then groomed her into his partner in crime. Before long, Kit and Manny were infamous for their string of gas-station robberies throughout Texas, making a name for themselves as the Texaco Twosome.

Twenty years after they meet, Kit has scraped together a life for herself and her daughter among the pecan trees and muddy creeks of the town of Pecan Hollow, far from Manny. 

But when he shows up at her doorstep a new man, fresh out of prison, Kit is forced to reckon with the shadows of her past, and her community is sent into a tailspin. 

This gritty, penetrating, and unexpectedly tender novel ensnares the listener in its story of resilience and bonds that define us. 

With its rich rural landscape, indelible characters, and striking regional language, Shadows of Pecan Hollow is a hauntingly intimate and distinctly original debut about the complexity of love—both romantic and familial—and the strength and vulnerability of womanhood.

 Recommended by The Washington Post!

Paper Moon meets Badlands in this mesmerizing Texas backroads thriller, a twisty story of a runaway girl who finds a home and a desperate love on the road with an opportunistic criminal…told in a gritty, sensual prose.”—Janet Fitch, #1 New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander

Shadows of Pecan Hollow is an exquisite tapestry of emotions, meticulously woven into a story that effortlessly spans decades and traverses the ever-shifting landscapes of human relationships.  Fueled by a compelling premise, the novel takes readers on a gripping journey through the rough terrain of Kit Walker’s life, from her fateful encounter with the enigmatic Manny Romero in the 1970s to the quiet refuge she’s built for herself and her daughter in the present day.

The author’s prose is both evocative and poetic, capturing the essence of each era and location with vivid detail.  The juxtaposition of Kit’s past as one-half of the infamous Texaco Twosome and her present as a resilient mother living amidst pecan trees and muddy creeks creates a poignant dichotomy that serves as the backbone of the narrative.  Manny’s reappearance, now a changed man, injects a newfound tension, forcing Kit to confront the ghosts she’s been trying to escape.

What truly sets this debut apart is its exploration of love’s intricate layers.  The connection between Kit and Manny transcends mere criminal partnership, painting a detailed portrait of love borne from shared experiences, mutual struggles, and the innate human need for connection.  The author deftly navigates the complexities of romantic and familial love, delving deep into the characters’ psyches and unraveling their motivations, vulnerabilities, and, ultimately, their redemption.

Shadows of Pecan Hollow is an introspective and emotionally resonant debut that delves into the nuances of forgiveness and the indomitable strength of the human spirit.  It’s a story that lingers in the heart long after the final page is turned, a testament to the enduring power of literature to touch the soul and illuminate the shadows that reside within us all.  Shadows of Pecan Hollow invites us to confront the past, embrace the present, and find solace in the unbreakable bonds that define us.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Frost has a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Although she currently resides in California with her husband and three young children, her roots in Texas run deep. Shadows of Pecan Hollow is her first novel.

The author does a bang-up job…creating the perfect storm of circumstancesPublishers Weekly

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